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Sussex Library online reading lists guide

New reading list edit mode

New reading list editing mode

We have rolled out an update to the Talis Aspire interface, so that it is more intuitive than before, making it easier and quicker to edit lists. Visit the sections in this guide to find support and guidance (including video tutorials) on how to use the new list edit update. 

Essential reading: e-resources only

Essential readings restricted to e-resources only

As outlined by the Vice Chancellor, teaching druing the pandemic will follow a blended approach of campus-based learning experiences, with a large proportion of teaching taking place online/remotely. As a result, it is mandatory that all essential readings are e-resources only - eBooks, articles, digitisations, videos, webpages, etc; print items cannot be used for essential readings. Please read and follow the guidance below before creating/updating your list this term.  

For more information about essential and recommended statuses, see the marking item importance section

Replacing print with online

Can I still add print books to my list?


It is mandatory that all "essential" readings are e-resources only - eBooks, articles, digitisations, videos, webpages, etc; print items cannot be used for essential readings.

Print books added as "essential" reading will have their status changed to "recommended" reading on the list if an eBook version is not available. 

If an eBook version is not available, the reviewer will add a "not available as eBook, changed to recommended reading" note to the item and we will endeavor to alert you to these via the "review complete" email. Not all print books are available in eBook format, or available through the Library's approved suppliers. 

Print books can be added to lists as "recommended" reading. 

For more information about essential and recommended statuses, see the marking item importance section


I want to replace prints books on my list with eBooks - how do I do this?
You will need to adapt your list and make the necessary changes before submitting it for review.  First check Library Search to see what eBooks we currently have in the collection and add any items to your list where available in ebook format, removing the print item. Request a review of the list.
If we don't have an eBook version already available in Library Search, please do not add Kindle versions or single copies of eBooks from publisher websites – these are personal copies, with licenses not suitable for Library resources. Instead, add the item as a print book if an ebook copy is not available on Library Search. Print books added to reading lists will be investigated and resourced as eBooks where available.
If an eBook version is not available, we will add a "not available as eBook, (recommended)" note to the item on the list, and will endeavor to alert you to these via the Review complete email.  We may have to change the status of items from "essential" to "recommended" reading status, if they're not available electronically. 
Please note - not all books are available as Ebooks, because the existence and licence type of any Ebook is determined by the publisher, not the Library.
Can the Library convert my reading list to all online resources for me?

The onus is on you to review and update your list accordingly. The Library can’t check that all items on your list are electronic, or replace existing print items to online resources – there are over 117,000 items on 19/20 reading lists, and consequently this would not be feasible for Library staff. 


Some publishers are making some of their paywall content open access during this time; can I add this to my list?

Access to these materials are temporary, and there is no guarantee they will remain open access throughout the duration of the academic term or year. We therefore advise against adding materials that are available through a temporary access scheme at this time, and recommend adding online materials that can be accessed through the Library's subscription of online resources, Library Search, or a permanent open access source. 

eBook availability

When is an Ebook not an Ebook? / Can I check to see if a book is available electronically, by looking at a publisher’s website or Amazon?

Unfortunately, not all Ebooks for individuals are made available for multiple users.  Publishers may make a title available electronically, for purchase by a single user for personal use, perhaps on a Kindle device or similar, but this doesn’t mean that the title is also available as an Ebook for the University’s multiple users. 

We can’t assume that Ebooks for individuals are made available for multiple users - this is at the publisher’s discretion, and are acquired very differently. Ebooks for libraries are purchased with a licence via a supplier, rather than buying a single, personal copy from the publisher or Amazon. This means that you, as tutors, can’t really check if something is available as an Ebook - we have to check with the suppliers.

Please do search the library catalogue for existing Ebooks by going to Advanced Search & filtering the scope to ‘Ebooks’.


Does the age of the title affect Ebook availability?

Yes, pre-2000 titles may be less available; newer titles are often easier to acquire.  Also, newer editions often replace older ones, as sometimes publishers remove the older options and we have to buy the latest eds.

Further Support

How can I create a list that benefits my students and the Library?

Structure – Weekly or topic sections should be employed where possible, reflecting the teaching content used.

Size – Consider the number of items needed, e.g. 150 max for an online reading list, with the remainder resting on a bibliography for research purposes (as evidenced by lower usage of longer lists). 

Resources  –  All essential readings should be online, either as Ebooks, articles, digitisations, videos, webpages, or other options.


Can I still book a 1-2-1 training session with the Library?

Library staff are working remotely and can arrange a remote 1-to-1 training session over Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Skype. Please email with times and dates that suit, to request. Remote departmental sessions or drop-in clinics can be arranged on request. 


Can I request inspection copies of titles I'm considering for my list?

It may be possible to request an inspection copy if you contact the publisher of the item directly. If the publisher is unable to provide a copy, please refer to our request a book for purchase page.